The No.1 Killer for African Americans

This February at Coryell Health, we are celebrating Black History Month by acknowledging the struggles of African Americans—past and present—especially as they relate to heart health. 

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans? One person dies every 36 seconds from heart disease in our country. The risk is even higher for African Americans. In 2018, African Americans were 30% more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites. 

The Risk Factors

One of the significant risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure. According to The American Heart Association, the prevalence of high blood pressure in African Americans is the highest in the world. African American adults are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure than non-Hispanic whites. African American women are about 60% more likely to have high blood pressure than non-Hispanic white women. In addition, African Americans are also more likely to have high cholesterol.

Close to Home

These statistics are more than just numbers; they hit close to home. The death rate in Coryell County due to heart disease is 342 per 100,000. Among the Black population, it increases to 377 per 100,000 deaths.

Preventative Measures

Here’s the good news: heart disease is preventable! Focus on the following to get your heart into its optimal condition:

  • A Healthy Diet
    • Eat balanced, nutritious meals and snacks, including fruits, vegetables and fewer processed foods
    • Avoid foods high in fat, sodium and sugar
    • Choose foods high in fiber and low in cholesterol 
    • Avoid drinking excess alcohol
  • Healthy Habits
    • The surgeon general recommends two hours and 30 minutes of exercise per week for adults
    • Avoid smoking 
    • Manage a healthy weight 
  • Managing Medical Conditions
    • Control blood pressure and cholesterol by changing habits or trying medications
    • Monitor blood sugar levels if you have diabetes 
    • Regularly take prescribed medicines as directed

Coryell Can Help

If you have heart-related concerns, Coryell Health is your solution. Cardiac rehabilitation and cardiopulmonary medicine are two of our specialties. You can give us a call at (254) 865-2166. In the meantime, check out these tips for a healthy heart from Cardiologist Dr. Keylani.